This morning (Saturday) my head raced with enthusiasm as I thought about all the jobs I needed to do before heading off. Hmph! But I also felt kinda sad. Perhaps happy and sad.
This week was very busy with that exquisite specialness that comes when you see a dear friend for the first time in many years.
My friend from the UK came to stay so, yes, I was happy. We go back many years when we met and became friends in the early 1990s USA. We first met at Blossomwood Elementary School in Huntsville, Alabama, our children’s school. It was the year before Bill Clinton ran for President and won. How I loved the American Presidential campaigns/races every 4 years! So, yes, we have America to thank for introducing us and Finnegans Irish Pub (on Memorial Parkway in Huntsville) for giving us the best watering hole in town at the time!
She is flying home to England tomorrow after a final few days in Melbourne, Victoria to see her daughter and son-in-law.
I am very sad and my heart is heavy. But hopefully she will be back here this time next year and/or maybe I will get to Europe perhaps later this year maybe September or October or before. We shall see
One day, as we sat outside on the veranda here, and shaking her head, she said, “I just can’t get used to this Christmas in the middle of summer” She had spent Christmas in Melbourne with her daughter et al before coming over here to SA.
“I know what you’re saying but when you’ve lived all your life in the Southern hemisphere, you don’t know any different. Nor is Christmas, the meaning of Christmas, the fun of it, any different from anywhere else in the world,” I said.
Of course I understood what she was thinking. Living in the USA for 17 years I understood exactly her sentiments as I enjoyed many a cold and cozy Christmas, even snowy ones, white Christmases. Nothing as beautiful as a white Christmas. No snow when I lived in Florida though.
But then I told her about ‘Christmas in July‘.
“What, Christmas in July?” she asked, puzzled.
Australia will always celebrate traditional Christmas on 25 December. It’s our Christian heritage – Europe, especially British. Because that heritage conjures cold weather, a cold Christmas, it makes sense to celebrate Christmas in the middle of winter here which is July, our coldest month. We can emulate the northern hemisphere Christmases with our big fat roasts, good red wine, mulled wine, egg-nogs and so forth in front of the wood fires in July.
This Yulefest or Yuletide as its known here, is popular in other southern hemisphere countries like New Zealand and Sth Africa to name a few. Christmas in July does not replace the real Christmas in December, and is a fun event, a winter event. More here.
Christmas in July works perfectly for me as I combine it with July 4th celebrations which, for me (4th July American Independence Day) is important.
Christmas in July promotional banner in Melbourne, Australia.
Therefore, in some southern hemisphere countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Comoros, Madagascar, Bolivia, Angola, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Samoa and South Africa, Christmas in July or Midwinter Christmas events are undertaken in order to have Christmas with a winter feel in common with the northern hemisphere. .
These countries still celebrate Christmas on December 25, in their summer, like the northern hemisphere.
Of course, my friend took some fabulous shots of the kangaroos mooching around our patch here at Angaston and fell in love with our Burmese girls (cats), Edith and Jeannie, or they with her. Not sure who had the biggest love.
Goodbye to my friend from the deep heart of Australia’s wine country.
The 2015 poster for the Barossa Vintage Festival – one of my favourite in its very retro style 🙂